Module 3: Assessment

Lesson 5

Learning outcome

Describe the epidemiology, comprehensive assessment, safety considerations, and goals of care that need to be addressed in prescribing therapy for anxiety.


Anxiety as a state and as an anxiety disorder is described in this lesson. The epidemiology of anxiety disorders is outlined, assessment of the need for prescribing CDS for anxiety is examined, and recommended safety considerations are discussed in relation to the goals of care.

Definition of anxiety

Normal or mild anxiety is a common experience, manifested by an unpleasant feeling of apprehension that is often accompanied by restlessness, perspiration, stomach upset, palpitations, and tightness in the chest. Such anxiety is a transient state, can be positive, and must be differentiated from a more pervasive and debilitating anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders may be characterized by symptoms of greater intensity or duration than expected; impairment in social, interpersonal, or workplace functioning; avoidance of certain situations that leads to a disruption of daily activities; and clinically significant unexplained physical symptoms or intrusive thoughts. The excessive anxiety, along with other symptoms, must persist for at least six months to be classified as a disorder.